Behind Her Empire Podcast: RAMONA's Founder on Zigzagging Your Way to Success

Behind Her Empire Podcast: RAMONA's Founder on Zigzagging Your Way to Success

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, hear from Jordan Salcito, an award-winning sommelier and founder of RAMONA, an organic wine spritzer made with high-quality ingredients and standards.

Jordan began her career in New York as a hostess before becoming a prep cook, sommelier, manager and eventually the wine and drink director at David Chang's Momofuku restaurants.

She is also a five-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and was named "Most Creative in the World" by World of Fine Wine magazine.

The idea for RAMONA came to life when Jordan became unexpectedly pregnant with her first son and realized she wanted to take control of her own life. She always had dreams of creating an organic wine beverage that everyone could enjoy at a good price point.

Key Takeaways:

  • Moving to New York after a successful college career was eye-opening for Jordan, whose goal was to make a living as a writer.
  • Her third job landed her at the well-respected restaurant WD-50, located in New York's Lower East Side, which ignited within her a passion for the restaurant industry.
  • She went to culinary school and worked in the kitchen of a New York restaurant and loved much of the chaos and culture.
  • She fell in love with wine, with a specific passion for Burgundy. She got a job for three weeks picking grapes in a vineyard to work the harvest and learn about burgundy winemaking from the inside out.
  • She did not pass "the service" part of the incredibly rigorous master sommelier test. The fail felt like a punch in the gut until she concluded the people judging that piece of the certification process were basing their results on faulty and arbitrary data.
  • That setback put her on a path to percolate her thinking about what would become RAMONA, the name of her sister's alter ego (when she was five).
"A goal is helpful for direction, but it is not a be-all or end-all game plan. Things can shift. Many things are not in one's control. The way that one reacts to them — That is the thing that we can always control, which is a lot." — Jordan Salcito

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